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Development Trust supports West Coast Education

Development Trust supports West Coast Education

A $10,000 grant by The West Coast Development Trust will assist 240 West Coast teachers to attend the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) Education Conference on March 25th.

It’s the first time the national conference has come to the Coast and is being held at Greymouth High School.

TUANZ focuses on practical ways to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the classroom – this includes upskilling teachers in their use of different computer programmes and applying new technologies. For example, a teacher skilled in a particular subject in Karamea can learn how to apply video conferencing techniques to teach a student in South Westland and link that student with others in Greymouth or even the UK.

The Development Trust grant was sought by WestNet, a cluster of 150 West Coast teachers funded by the Ministry of Education to deliver professional development programmes in ICT.

“It’s one thing to have the technology, it’s another to know how to use it to its best advantage,” says WestNet learning facilitator Vicki Smith.

“Those that teach the students need to be taught about the possibilities themselves and that’s what the TUANZ Conference is all about”.

From The West Coast Development Trust’s perspective, assisting schools to send teachers to the conference fits perfectly with the provisions of the Trust Deed in that it facilitates the broader delivery of education and training initiatives, and leverages Government funding.

“The grant will ensure that schools can find it within their means for their teachers to attend, especially those that come from further afield”, said Development Trust chief executive Mike Trousselot.

“It’s critical that West Coast teachers understand how to use technology to benefit our students’ learning – our relative geographic isolation means the West Coast has more to gain from ICT training than any other region in New Zealand.”

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